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Oh wow, this journal feature is really cool! I only first discovered it about a week ago but I didn't have time to write anything at the time. I apologize to anyone who might read this because I basically write how I talk so the grammar might not be at its best.
A quick review from last weeks classes-----Saturday morning (May 15th), it was pouring down rain and storming! My mom and I get to class and only J (I might only use first initials for names so I won't over reveal anything) and the new guy W was there. We kept waiting for Mr. L (head sensei) to arrive and J called him but he his street was flooded so he couldn't leave his house. J decided to teach the class of basics (mainly for the new guys benefit) and that was fine for us. He actually took up some time showing us some Tai Chi moves and that was our stretches. It was quite neat actually. Then we did bokken and jo work and basic turns and techniques (mostly practice of getting "offline"). I'm always very tired in the morning and the early Saturday morning classes are always a struggle to get through but this class was much easier because it was at a much slower pace.
The next Tuesday class (May 18th), my favorite sensei M was there and black belt (sometime sensei) P was there too. My mom and I told them about Saturday's class and Sensei M asked me why I didn't teach class because I was of higher rank than J. We were all laughing so I'm hoping he was only half serious. My mom and I are both 3rd kyu while as J has been doing Aikido with us for a couple of years and has never tested, he holds multiple black belt ranking in Tae Kwon Do and probably high ranking in several other arts too. Sensei M was joking that I could have said to J that "he may be high ranking in other arts, in HERE I out rank you so blah, blah, blah." I explained to M and P that no way would I want to teach because I feel like I KNOW the techniques okay and how to do them but I do NOT know how to EXPLAIN things (how to take what's in my head and form it to words). Because I said that, after M started the class, he made me lead the class in the bokkens! It's been a LONG time since he made me do that but I refused to let myself feel horrified and get nervous so I just got my bokken out of the closet and I think I did okay. M also used me as his uke for half of the night but that's no big deal as he's been using me more often lately and most of the time, I really enjoy it. It was overall a really fun class.
Last Saturday's class (I'm caught up to date now)/ May 22nd----Mr. L was there to teach class like normal this morning. J and P were also there besides my mom and I. New guy W came too. Since Saturday's is really an intermediate class, Mr. L has one person go over and teach the new guy basics while everyone else is working on intermediate stuff. P was over there helping W first and the rest of us are making our best attempt at this technique that is supposed to be easy but it's really very complex (like all techniques are actually). 20 minutes into that, Mr. L comes to me and says something along the lines of "Guess what, I'm going to have you help W with forward and back rolls." I'm sure my eyes must have popped out and I started to say, "But I don't know how to explain things well..." but he told me to relax and he showed me what he wanted me to have W do. A minute later he claps and brings P back and I go over to W. It wasn't so bad at all really! If W was a big scary guy then I would have been intimidated and would have had a harder time but it wasn't like that. I had W do the "rocking chairs" (roll back and up again) like Mr. L wanted me to, and then low forward and back rolls from there. I instructed and demonstrated what I could (I was afraid to be talking or correcting too much and be discouraging or bossy but I don't think I was). Mr. L came over a couple of times to assist me or tell me to watch W and see if he's rolling straight on his spine and hitting his head or rolling shoulder to hip like he's supposed to. Sometimes it's obvious and easy to tell the difference when watching somebody but my eyes are experienced enough to see those things well yet so I often had problems being able to tell if W was rolling shoulder to hip or if he veered (sp?) at times. Mr. L and the other black belts can just look at somebody rolling and immediately see what they're supposed to but I guess that I'm starting to learn. Anyway! I don't know how long I was over with W (20 minutes at least) before Mr. L brought me back in and J took over with him (my mom had to teach him too). It was an interesting experience to "teach". Mr. L said to me during coffee after class that he's probably going to have me do more of it (if the new guy's there) because it's good practice for me. That both makes me feel nervous but also pleased that he thinks enough of me to want to start learning things like this since someday in the FAR future (I've been in Aikido for almost 4 years), I do hope to be a black belt and when that happens, I'll have to be somewhat comfortable and confident enough in my techniques to teach a class if I have to. All part of the journey!
Well, I wrote about 3 classes in my first journal entry. I mainly wanted to write about last Saturday's and my first time "teaching" but I felt like giving the background of the first couple of classes since it leads into the last one. I do have a Aiki-Journal notebook that I have written and recorded in for a couple of years but I'm really behind in it. I believe the last entry was August of last year! I hope to catch up with the important happenings but in the meantime, this online Journal is awesome and easier to write in!